What Is 4 Square Volleyball and How Do You Play?

What Is 4 Square Volleyball and How Do You Play?

Learning a new game can bring a whole new level of fun to your gatherings. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about a game called 4 square volleyball.

Combining 4 Square and Volleyball  

Both Four Square and Volleyball are common recess games for kids in kindergarten through high school. The ideas of the games are similar--you must successfully pass the ball to the opposite player.  

In volleyball, the players set, bump, and spike the ball over a net to another team. On the other hand, Four Square players hit a bouncing rubber ball on the ground and bounce it to one of three other players.  

When combining the two games, you get 4 square volleyball. It combines volleyball skills and 4 square spacing to get a game that is fun for both beginners and experts.

4-square + Volleyball

4 Square Volleyball Set Up  


4 Square Volleyball usually involves taking 4 posts each connected to a separate end of the net. The 4 posts are maintained in an upright position by using tension lines to secure the posts to the ground

Rules for 4 Square Volleyball  

The rules for basic four square volleyball are similar to traditional Four Square, with some obvious tweaks. The elimination, waiting line, and rotation all follow the same principles set up in Four Square, making the game easy to learn for those who grew up playing Four Square. In fact, many of the game’s rules are intuitive. 

There are three main parts that make up the game: the serve, the volley, and the elimination.  

The Serve 

Players have two options when serving the ball. The first option is to let the first person in line throw the ball into the court. This lets the ball enter neutrally, without giving the middle player an advantage in the game.  

Players can also choose to have the square 1 or king position serve diagonally to the person accross from them to start the rally. 

Players can also choose to adopt a rule of Four Square called “one bad.” One bad is when the server messes up the serve and self-eliminates from the game; instead of being eliminated, the server can call “one bad” and get a second chance to serve the ball. This rule can only be used once by the server while the server is in the Queen/King square.  

The Volley 

The server (or line member) begins the volley by pushing the ball up and out of their square. The receiving player can’t catch the ball and must push it to hit it up and out of their square into another player’s square. The volley continues until someone drops the ball or hits it out of the court.  

The volley should take up the majority of the game since the game is centered around the volley. Depending on your group, you can make specific rules that limit or enhance the ball’s play. Feel free to be creative when playing 4 square volleyball and make the game something special for the group that you’re playing with. 

The Elimination  

4 Square Volleyball is a game of constant change. Although one player could be in the Queen/King square for one round, they could be waiting in the elimination line within a few moments. There are several ways to be eliminated: 

  • If a player drops the ball in their square, they are eliminated. 
  • If a player hits the ball out of the bounds, they are eliminated.  
  • If a player is unable to hit the ball out of their square, they are eliminated.  
  • If a player holds the ball, they are eliminated.  

When a player breaks one of the established rules, they leave their palace on the court and move to an elimination line. The line starts next to square number one. All other players move up to fill the eliminated player’s place while a new player from the line fills the last open spot. 

When to Play 4 square Volleyball 

4 square volleyball is a versatile game welcome at any gathering. From picnics to family reunions, 4 square volleyball is a great way to engage both young children and adults all in the same activity. The best times to play Nine Square include: 

  • Youth groups meetings 
  • Family gatherings 
  • Friend gathering
  • Picnics 
  • Outdoor activities 
  • Recess 
  • Birthday parties 
  • Any outdoor event

4 square Volleyball is a great excuse to get outside and play a game that your friends and family will enjoy. If you have a larger group looking to play out doors and not everyone is the same skill level it may also enjoy playing 9 square castlesquares which is ideal for youth camp events, pe class, and family events.

9-square collage

What Is 4 Square Volleyball and How Do You Play?

Ian Boggess

About the Author

Ian has been with Castle Sports for the last 4 years. He loves designing games for fitness and activity that get the whole group involved.

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